Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Hrant Dink Murder

I see that the Turks have arrested someone in connection with the Hrant Dink murder. Dink was a Turkish journalist who was well known for his outspoken views. And this guy may have links to another murder:
On Saturday night, Ogun Samast was captured in Samsun, a Black Sea port, after his father recognized his images from the surveillance video and notified the police in Trabzon, their hometown, said Muammer Guler, Istanbul’s governor, at a news conference just before midnight.

“The suspect was captured in Samsun on a passenger bus destined to Trabzon, together with all the evidence, including his gun and the white beret” seen in the video, Mr. Guler said.

Mr. Samast, an unemployed secondary school graduate who arrived in Istanbul a week ago, admitted killing Mr. Dink, the Samsun police said.

The police are also looking into possible links between Mr. Samast and the killing of a Catholic priest, Andrea Santaro, last February. The assailant was a 16-year-old who, like the priest and Mr. Samast, was from Trabzon.
Notably absent is what was said by the assailant prior to murdering Dink - the death to the infidel part. The Telegraph is still the only outlet that uses that term in their reporting of Dink's murder.

Samast said that he went to say his Friday prayers, and then proceeded to kill Dink because of some of the outrageous thinks Dink wrote:
“I read the news on the internet. I saw that he said, ‘I’m from Turkey, but Turkish blood is dirty’. That is why I decided to kill him. I do not regret it.”
The Turkish authorities say that Samast used a handmade 7.65 caliber handgun in the murder. There are also reports that several other people are under arrest in connection with the murder.

Charles at LGF continues to raise questions over the reporting of statements made by Dink's killer. How is it that the early reports claimed that the killer - Samast - uttered that "I shot the non-Muslim," one report in the Telegraph claimed Samast said that "I shot the infidel," and the rest of the reports omit this altogether.

There are several possibilities that come to mind. It is entirely possible that: (1) no such statements were made and the follow up reporting omits the statement because it was unverified; (2) that someone mistranslated Samast's statements to read he shot the non-Muslim so as to deemphasize the nature of the crime (but not completely disregard it), or (3) that they purposefully altered the coverage to deemphasize the nature of the crime.

If (1) occurred, you would hope that the reporting would reflect this, but it doesn't appear that anyone has issued corrections on the story's narrative. If (2) occurred, it could explain why so many media outlets carried the report the same way though this would suggest that no one followed up to check with the original source for verification of the statement. If (3) occurred, we not only have the issues raised in (2) plus a purposeful and knowing element to the alteration of the statements made.
Given that the media doesn't exactly have a sterling record on accuracy, no one knows for sure, but there is a story worth examining.

This may also be the result of multiple media sources relying upon the same person or original reporting to file their own stories - if the original source was incorrect, inaccurate, or was engaging in falsifying details, then all other reporting based thereon would also contain those inaccuracies, falsifications, and other related problems.

It points to one of the problems with the consolidation of media gathering - that if news reporting relies on only a handful of media outlets, then any original reporting by those outlets that are inaccurate are passed along to their consumers (other media outlets) that do not have the resources themselves to fact check and assume someone else did that for them.

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